This article has been edited and cross-posted from William & Mary’s School of Education news site (original article by Christine M. Baron).
Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton visited the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the College of William & Mary on Friday, July 18. While at the School of Education, Secretary Holton spent time learning about the College’s initiatives to support underrepresented populations, met with the STEM Education Alliance team, and visited our VISTA camp!
At the VISTA camp, Holton learned about the student campers’ rain gardens, which they were creating in an exercise meant to help them explore ways to restore the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Holton also helped the campers launch a mock water park called “Sea City” during a ribbon cutting ceremony (see photo at right). The student scientists created the park with the goal of being environmentally friendly AND educating the public about marine systems.
Anne Holton is a life-long advocate for children and families in Virginia. After graduating with a B.A. from Princeton and a Harvard law degree, Holton worked as a legal aid lawyer serving low-income families. She served as a juvenile and domestic relations district court judge from 1998 until 2005 when her husband, Tim Kaine, was elected Governor of Virginia.
As Virginia's First Lady, Holton championed a successful initiative to secure permanent family connections for more foster youth. She later served as a consultant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation on foster care systems reform, with a focus on judiciary issues and preventing unnecessary out-of-home placements of youth due to complex behavioral issues.
In 2008 Anne Holton worked with the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education to establish the Great Expectations program, which works through campus coaches based on community college campuses to improve access to and success in higher education for Virginia's foster youth and alumni. She served as the Program's Director in 2013.
Holton attended public schools in Roanoke, Richmond, and Fairfax County, Virginia. With her family she helped integrate the Richmond Public Schools in 1970. She has been an active PTA member and volunteer at six Richmond public schools, where her children were educated. Holton served on the Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation Board 2010-2012 and on the Voices for Virginia Children Board 2010-2013. She also has served on the Advisory Board to Youth-Nex, the UVa Center to Promote Effective Youth Development at the Curry School of Education.
Holton is the recipient of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Life Award of Distinction and the Richmond YWCA Outstanding Woman in Law award in 2006 among other honors.
She and her husband (now U.S. Senator Tim Kaine) have three adult children and reside in Richmond, Virginia.